Average Home Size Increasing

According to this article, McMansions gain popularity despite the housing slump, national new home sizes are averaging 2,400 sq ft!

Thats a huge increase from about 40 years ago. In the sixties, the average home was about 1100 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath.

American homes, on average, are nearly twice as large as those in many European countries, including Britain, France and Germany. Only Luxembourg comes close among European nations, with average homes about three-quarters the size of those in the United States.

U.S. homes are also becoming more expensive. The median home value jumped more than 40 percent form 1990 to 2005, to about $167,500.

As the standard of living keeps growing I can understand the need for more living space, however after a point it becomes ridiculous. It seems difficult to understand that 20% of all new home construction be for “atleast 4 bedroom homes” when the average family size is 2.6. Somehow I can’t see that the economy has been growing all that much in the past several years where people can afford to upgrade to such large houses.

I can’t help but wonder how many buyers got an option-ARM loan or an interest-only adjustable mortgage and can’t really afford to buy it with a “traditional” 20% down 30 year amortized mortgage.

Also, as the cost of oil and gas increases, heating these homes will also become increasingly difficult.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the number of foreclosures sky-rocket over the next few years. According to what I heard from a friend, foreclosures in California for the 1st quarter 2007 are at 86,000. This is opposed to 800 for the entire year in 2006. (I haven’t verified the numbers at all, but I believe the trend).

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